Egypt, France address efforts for Libya settlement

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-17 03:02:08|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received on Sunday a phone call from his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron where they discussed regional issues including joint efforts to reach a settlement in conflict-torn Libya.

"The two presidents agreed on the importance of pushing current efforts to reach a political settlement to restore stability in Libya," said Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef.

President Sisi hailed the strength of Egyptian-French ties, stressing that further international efforts are required to end crises in the Middle East region.

The French leader underlined the necessity to intensify consultation and coordination between the two countries over a number of regional issues of mutual concerns, including the situation in Libya.

For both Egypt and France, Libya is a terror exporter due to current chaotic conditions in the strife-stricken country that provides a suitable den for militants of various terrorist groups including the regional Islamic State (IS).

On Saturday, the Egyptian air forces destroyed 15 vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition before infiltrating into Egypt through its western borders with eastern Libya, raising the number of such destroyed vehicles since May to 42.

Egypt was hit in July 2014 by a terror attack in the Western Desert that killed at least 21 soldiers. Later in February 2015, IS militants released a video showing the beheading of 20 Egyptians near the Libyan chaotic city of Sirte.

As for France, the year 2015 started and ended with two major deadly attacks in Paris. One was in January on an office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 were killed, while the other occurred in November, which was a series of coordinated assaults, killing 130 and injuring hundreds of others.

In July 2016, a terrorist attack in Nice killed 84 and wounded 100 others as a lorry deliberately drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.

Six years after the 2011 uprising ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi as well as his life, Libya is currently engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli.

Tobruk's parliament-backed government was internationally recognized before the Libyan Presidential Council was established in 2015 to run a unity government in Tripoli as per a UN-brokered peace deal between Libyan factions reached in Skhirat, Morocco.

Sisi's leadership supports the self-proclaimed Libyan national army led by strongman Marshall Khalifa Haftar and supported by the government in Tobruk.